No rise in school meal costs

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Meal prices in Derbyshire schools have been frozen for the coming academic year - despite rising food and fuel costs.

Derbyshire County Council has decided to keep meal prices at 2011/12 levels when pupils return for the new academic year in September.

It means the price for primary school meals will stay at £1.90, with secondary schools meals remaining at £2.

The prices are lower than many neighbouring authorities.

Councillor Mike Longden, Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “The number of pupils eating school meals is continuing to increase in Derbyshire’s primary and secondary schools.

“We know things are tight for many parents and carers and have worked hard to be able to freeze prices because it is important for pupils to be able to enjoy healthy lunches.

“Enjoying balanced and healthy meals can increase pupils’ concentration in class and reduce the chance of obesity and associated problems.”

The level of primary and nursery school pupils having school meals in Derbyshire during 2010 to 2011 is 46.9 per cent - up two per cent on the previous year and better than the national average of 44.1 per cent.

Secondary school pupil numbers having school meals during the same period rose two per cent to 42 per cent - better than the national average of 37.6 per cent.

The county council provides approximately 35,000 meals per day in 387 primary, secondary and special schools.

All meals meet national standards set by Government and use recipes that are low in sugar, fat and salt, and include locally sourced produce wherever possible.